The Federal Ministry of Environment has strengthened activities on Environmental health and sanitation response to Lassa fever outbreak in the country
Minister of State for the Environment, chief Sharon IKeazor made this known at the weekend, saying that her ministry has already embarked on environmental health and sanitation response campaign in 11 states of the Federation to ensure improvement in environmental sanitation of premises, abatement of nuisance, rodent control, food hygiene and safety.
According to her, Nigeria is currently experiencing increasing number of reported Lassa fever cases across the country.
The most recent situation report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of 16th January 2022 indicated 96 confirmed cases and 11 deaths from 3rd to 16th January, 2022 in 27 Local Government Areas across 11 States that include Bauchi, Edo, Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Kogi, Cross River, Ebonyi and Oyo. This is in addition to the 510 confirmed cases and 102 deaths that occurred from January 2021 to 2nd January, 2022.
The Minister revealed that before the recent outbreak, the Ministry had taken proactive measures to improve the overall sanitation and hygiene situation in the country by establishing Sanitation Desks in all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT to ensure proper monitoring and proactive measures on environmental health issues and concerns.
“This is in addition to the setting up of Environmental Health Surveillance Systems designed to strengthen cooperation between the states and Federal government on Environmental health and Sanitation issues which aids information/data gathering and sharing between the Federal, state and Local Governments.
“They are also involved in prevention and containment activities including surveillance/monitoring and reporting of Lassa fever cases and other environmental determinant diseases to the Federal Ministry of Environment headquarters. The Sanitation Desks are being replicated in all the 774 LGAs in the country,” she explained.
Ikeazor added that, the Federal Ministry of Environment over the years had collaborated with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and other stakeholders to carry out activities to prevent and contain the perennial Lassa fever outbreaks in Nigeria
She stated that Environmental Health Officers in the Ministry, in collaboration with Sanitation Desks in the States and local government Environmental Health Officers are currently in the field implementing environmental sanitation response activities in Lassa fever affected states.
“As a Ministry, we remain committed to our mandate of pest and vector control in Nigeria. To this end, we are entrenching sustainable programmes focusing on eliminating and reducing breeding avenues for disease vectors which involve fostering collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
“Furthermore, we shall continue to develop capacity of Environmental Health Practitioners in the Federal, State and Local Government jurisdictions. State Ministries of Environment are hereby enjoined to develop comprehensive Lassa fever prevention programme that will include rodent infestation survey and deratization.
Ikeazor assured the general public that the Ministry remains committed to ensuring that the environment remains clean, healthy and safe for all.
The Lassa fever virus is transmitted by rodents (rats) which can be found in our environment including homes, motor parks, offices and even places of worship. This contributes largely to the risk of spread that occurs in Nigeria and other countries with similar ecological factors.
The Minister therefore called on members of the public to keep their surroundings clean, keep food away from rodents, store grains and other food stuff in rodent proof containers and cook all foods thoroughly before consumption.
She also advised residents to block rat hideouts, carry out deratization, put an end to the practice of eating rats, dry farm produce in hygienic manners by refraining from drying crops on the ground where rodents could freely run through; as Lassa fever is often associated with poor sanitary and hygiene practices with cases being recorded all year round.(END)
ISERAEL - NIGERIA i-FAIR 2020/21
“Transforming ideas into Inventions”
The Embassy of the State of Israel in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria & partnership with Skill-G Nigeria Ltd, Gregory University Uturu (Abia State), and DeNovo-isreal Ltd are honored to introduce the i-FAIR
The i-FAIR has been created to raise a generation of innovators, inventors and researchers in Nigeria by offering them a platform to transform their brilliant ideas into innovative solutions and launch their entrepreneurial dreams in the following fields:
* Agriculture & Food security
* Renewable Energy/ Environment Management
* Food technology
* Medical Devices/Simulation
* Social Responsibility
Successful applicants are entitled to the following benefits, free of charge:
* A unique platform to transform ideas into inventions and develop working prototypes
* Free access and membership to a modern innovation center where they can work on and develop their ideas
* Access to a special certificate- course and mentoring by accomplished inventors, innovators and researchers from Nigeria and the State of Israel
* The opportunity to enter “Masschallenge Israel, 2021”
* The opportunity to pitch inventions and prototypes to investors for possible adoption, patronage and partnership
* An all-expense paid visit to the State of Israel, for inventors with the best prototypes and a chance for a Proof of Concept (POC) collaboration opportunity with leading Israeli companies (TBD)
Who Can Apply
Nigerian citizens over the age 21, with a minimum educational qualification of a bachelor’s degree from any field (preferably in the fields highlighted above) are encouraged to apply.
Duration and Deadlines
Applications are open and will be closed on October 31st, 2020. Afterwards, a team of experts will review the applications and select the best 50-100 ideas. The successful applicants will attend a three-day course from December 1st-3rd, 2020 at the Innovation Center in Abuja.
A team of experts from Israel and Nigeria will mentor/provide the successful applicants the tools necessary to develop their ideas into marketable products and prototypes. The grand finale where participants will make presentations of their prototypes to investors will be held between March 2nd-4th, 2021 at the Innovation Center in Abuja.
For additional information about the i-FAIR please visit: www.ifair-israelnigeria.comand for submission of an application please visit: https://www.ifair-israelnigeria.com/form-app/form.php
Plans For National Decarbonization Progamme
In continuation of the plan to develop a framework and functional secretariat for the National Decarbonization Programme, today, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, met with some stakeholders including Chris Newson, Joseph Ekiye, Jesse-Martin Manufor, Asmau Jibril, Rukayya Muhammed, Chioma Amudi, and Sandra Uzoho in his office at the Ministry's Headquarters, Abuja. It was quite a fruitful engagement.
Experts Seek Mitigation Measures to Curb Climate Change Impacts
Environmentalists have called on the Federal Government to adopt fresh measures for the mitigation of climate change impacts in the post COVID-19 era.
They said Nigeria is plagued with diverse ecological problems that have been linked to climate change, hence, the need for action. According to them, the effect of climate change is making the environment warmer, dryer and conducive for pests and disease in the country.
The experts spoke at the 2020 International Virtual Conference of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation SETPOM, themed: “Interconnectedness: Implications for Covid-19 and Environmental Concerns.”
Setting the tone for discussion, SETPOM President, Dr. Nnamdi Amaeze, who said the environment is rich in opportunities that can lead to employment of youths, called for its conservation and protection for generations unborn.
He said the conference is an opportunity for academics, industrialists, regulators, researchers and students to interact on environmental issues of local and global concerns.
Director and Chief Executive, Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, said climate change has altered the natural hydrological calendar to the extent that life cycle of most insects and pests are no longer controlled or disrupted with the onset of rainfall.
In his keynote address, Prof. Rabiu said the inconsistency in rainfall pattern has strengthened the lifespan of those biological pests and resulted in the destruction of forest and agricultural crops.
“Rainfall is becoming unpredictable and decreasing on the average, which also differ significantly from 1971-2005,” he said.
Coastal region, Rabiu said, has experienced slightly increasing rainfall since the early 1970s and August break (short-dry-season) is currently being experienced more in July as against August in the Savannah ecology. He added, “the Southern ecological zone of Nigeria largely known for high rainfall is currently confronted by irregularity in the rainfall pattern.”
He further revealed that the Northern zone faces the threat of desert encroachment at a very fast rate per year, while coastal areas are becoming vulnerable to incessant floods, destruction of mangrove ecosystems and transmission of water borne diseases that lead to displacement and communal crisis.
Speaking on indoor air pollution, the Manager, Community Relations, Addax Petroleum, Julius Brown, said prior COVID-19, about 4.3 million people died yearly from exposure to indoor air pollutants, while COVID era is expected to increase the number.
His words: “Out of the number of exposure to household air pollutants, 34 per cent perish from stroke, 26 per cent died of heart disease, 22 per cent from, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while pneumonia and lung cancer account for 12per cent and six per cent of the deaths respectively.
He stressed that women and young children, who spend most time at home, are more vulnerable as more than 50 per cent of pneumonia deaths among children under five years are linked to household air pollution.
To mitigate indoor air pollution, Brown called for avoidance of smoking indoors, keeping burning of fossil fuel outdoors and use of a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner to reduce moistures.
FG Pledges Public Participation in NDC Revision, Implementation
To curtail the grave threat posed by climate change, the Federal Ministry of Environment has committed to involving key stakeholders and the general public in the revision of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), design, and implementation of climate change policy.
Minister of State for the Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, who made this known during a webinar on “Public Participation in Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Drafting and Implementation: Experiences around the World,” said Nigeria places emphasis on the NDC as a vehicle for communicating climate change action.
The event was organised by the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), Ebonyi State in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI).
Under the current national climate change plans, known as NDC, Nigeria set an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unconditionally by 20per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent compared to the 2010 baseline.
Ikeazor said public participation was a necessary requirement for accommodating diverse views in the climate change decision-making process and, that stakeholders including the youth, women groups, academia, private sector, conservationists as well as commissioners of the environment in different geopolitical zones should encourage actions not only at the federal level but also at the subnational level.
She stated that the government had consistently shown leadership in climate action. “Federal Government has backed up this commitment with concrete actions, Nigeria ratified the Paris agreement and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, making Nigeria the 144th country that was needed for the entry into force of the amendment in December 2020.”
According to Ikeazor, the ministry is open to ideas to improve processes in the design and implementation of the NDC. “Climate change is a challenge to everyone and it is the desire of the government that more people be interested and involved in climate change action and participate in the efforts that Nigeria is making, but also to take advantage of all the opportunities it presents, especially for our youth.”
The event, moderated by Director, CCCD of AE-FUNAI, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, had an independent consultant, Huzi Msheilla, who served as the facilitator of Nigeria’s NDC review and implementation processes, shedding some light on the level of engagement and incorporation of other stakeholders in accelerating climate action in Nigeria.
Other speakers included Prof. Donald Brown, the Winner of the 2019 UNESCO Avicenne Prize for Climate Change Ethics; Dr. Thomas Hale of Oxford University; Rachael Rico, Policy Advisor, Italian Climate Network; Dr. Malle Fofana of the Global Green Growth at the Republic of Korea; Ms Yamide Dragnet, Director, Climate Negotiations, World Resources Institute; and Jessica Cookie, the Policy Officer at PLAN International.
World Bank, Others Launch City Climate Finance Gap Fund
After an initial effort that eventually turned out to be a ‘false start’, a fresh initiative has been unfolded to support city and local governments facing barriers to financing climate-smart projects.
Ministers and directors of governments of Germany and Luxembourg together with the World Bank, European Investment Bank, and Global Covenant of Mayors launched the initiative known as the City Climate Finance Gap Fund through a webnair last week.
It paves the way for low-carbon, resilient, and livable cities in developing and emerging economies by unlocking infrastructure investment at scale.
The world’s developed countries have committed to mobilise $100 billion a year by 2020, from public and private sources, to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions.
The latest accounting of climate finance shows there is a gap of about $70 billion. Closing that gap is critical to building the trust necessary to reach a robust deal at the international climate summit next year.
The fund will be filling a gap in available project support, and offers technical and advisory services to assist local leaders in prioritising and preparing climate-smart investments and programmes at an early stage, with the goal of accelerating preparation, enhancing quality, and ensuring they are bankable.
It comes as an initiative of the governments of Germany and Luxembourg together with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCOM), in partnership with several other key players in the climate finance arena (including C40, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance).
Expected to be implemented by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, the fund was announced at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 as a key initiative of the Leadership for Urban Climate Investment (LUCI), which promotes financing for ambitious urban climate action until 2025.
With a target capitalisation of at least €100 million, the fund will accelerate investments supporting cities in developing and emerging economies, as they determine goals and objectives for low-carbon and well-planned urbanization.
The fund investment is aiming to unlock at least €4 billion of final investment in climate-smart projects and urban climate innovation.
Core donors to the fund are Germany (€45 million – including €25 million from the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and €20 million from the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and Luxembourg (€10 million).
“What cities do today will forever shape our climate tomorrow,” said Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships.
“Cities in developing countries urgently need resources to realize their climate ambitions. Through the Gap Fund, the World Bank is supporting low-carbon, resilient, inclusive, healthy, creative, and sustainable communities for all.”
Cities are on the frontlines of the climate emergency and currently account for around 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Urban centers’ share of emissions is expected to grow as 2.5 billion people migrate from rural to urban areas by 2050.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it was estimated that more than $93 trillion in sustainable infrastructure investment was needed by 2030 to meet climate goals.
As cities strive to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, investments in clean energy, climate-resilient water and sanitation, and urban regeneration projects will play an important role in eliminating pollution, improving local food systems, and creating green jobs.
They will also lead to cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities – conditions that can help prevent future pandemics.
Climate investment projects are an indispensable opportunity to improve lives of the millions who live in cities around the world. However, cities frequently lack the capacity, finance, and support needed for the early stages of project preparation – especially in developing and emerging economies.
FG Hands Over Ogoni Remediation Sites to NOSDRA for Scientific Analysis
The federal government has handed over some of the oil spill impacted sites in Ogoniland to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) for scientific analysis and certification.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, said this recently at the handing over ceremony of the sites to NOSDRA in Alode community, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He said the sites were part of the 21 sites awarded to contractors in January 2019 for the batch one, phase one clean-up exercise.
Abubakar said the sites were remediated by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment, mandated to carry out the clean-up of Ogoni communities.
“We are happy that 582 community youths earned a living for the period that the contract lasted.
“Also, we are excited that additional 800 youths will be engaged in the second batch of the remediation exercise,” he said.
The minister said 36 contracts have been awarded to contractors and the contractors are now mobilising to the remediation sites.
He explained contractors should have completed their work on the sites but communal clashes, rains and outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country held up work.
“So, today is a pointer to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change the negative narratives of the people of the Niger Delta.
“President Buhari wants to change the negative narratives of the people of the Niger Delta, who have suffered over four decades of environmental pollution.
“It is a day of promise kept and kept to the letter in terms of standard and depth of work done,” he added.
Abubakar said the remediation sites handed over to NOSDRA, includes lots two, five, six and eight in Eleme LGA.
Others are lots 10 in Gokana and lots 17 and 18 in Tai Local Government Areas of the state.
“To this end, a total of 280,300 cubic meters of soil was treated from the seven lots using bio-remediation option.
“The bio-remediation option is a method that is environmentally friendly and effective in removing pollutants from the soil.
“The project has not only added value to the environment, youths from the oil impacted communities have been meaningfully engaged as well as earning salaries,” he said.
Also speaking, HYPREP Coordinator, Dr Marvin Dekil, said the agency had introduced to the less complex sites newer technologies in the field of remediation.
According to him, the newer technology include the use of bio-cell technology on lesser complex sites as against the use of integrated contaminated soil centre.
“The reason behind the bio-cell engineering is that the soil from the less complex sites can be treated immediately.
“It is also the reason that pollutants are not littered along the path of transportation from the point of excavation to the point of treatment,” Dekil explained.
Press Briefing by Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar On National Issues and Concern Relating to Environment Sector
Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you to this important Press Briefing. It is organized to brief you and the nation that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) has graciously approved the establishment of ten (10) additional National Parks bringing the total number of the National Parks in the Country to Seventeen (17). I will also brief you on the efforts of the Ministry in the Control of the second wave of the Covid-19.
2. The details of the new National Parks are as follows:
1. Allawa Game Reserve
Allawa National Park
2. Apoi Forest Reserve
Apoi National Park
3. Edumenum Forest Reserve
Edumenum National Park
4. Falgore Game Reserve
Falgore National Park
5. Hadeja Wetland Game Reserve
Hadeja Wetland National Park
6. Kampe Forest Reserve
Kampe National Park
7. Kogo Forest Reserve
Kogo National Park
8. Marhai Forest Reserve
Marhai National Park
9. Oba Hill Forest Reserve
Oba Hills National Park
10. Pandam Forest Reserve
Pandam National Park
3. To give credence and legal backing to this worthy cause, an Executive Bill will soon be presented to the National Assembly for further necessary action.
4. It should be noted that, the first National Park in Nigeria, Kanji Lake was created in 1979. This was followed by six (6) others spread across the country namely:
i. Kamuku National Park-Kaduna State
ii. Kainji Lake National Park-Niger and Kwara States
iii. Gashaka-Gumti National Park -Adamawa & Taraba States
iv. Chad Basin National Park-Borno and Yobe States
v. Okomu National Park-Edo State
vi. Cross River National Park-Cross River State
vii. Old Oyo National Park-Oyo State
5. The creation of additional National Parks in Nigeria has become imperative in view of the prevailing effects of climate change across the globe. This action is geared towards the United Nation’s policy of placing 25% of its member countries’ landmass under permanent vegetation cover for carbon sequestration to mitigate the effects of climate change and ameliorate other ecological challenges. It may interest you to note that Nigeria currently has 6.7% of her total landmass under vegetation cover which is grossly inadequate in line with global best practices. The creation of these Parks will no doubt, further create more employment opportunities, alleviate poverty in rural areas and ultimately enhance the country’s revenue profile especially now that Nigeria is seeking to diversify her economy.
6. The seventeen (17) National Parks cut across the ecological zones of the country except the marine eco-system. National Parks are areas reserved and managed for conservation of wildlife and natural resources. The Parks contain several rich and diverse varieties of rare endangered species like Elephants, Gorillas, Giraffes, Monkeys, Golden Cats, Hippopotami, crocodiles etc and a host of plant species.
7. The functions of the National Park Service involve surveillance, patrolling, checking illegal activities of poachers in the Parks, enforcement of relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, public enlightenment on the protection and conservation of plants and animals, assisting researchers and searching, arresting and prosecuting offenders.
8. Some of the benefits of the National Parks include the protection of life support systems such as watersheds and water catchment areas. National Parks have great potentials for the development of research, particularly on agriculture, medicine and bio-technology. They also serve as field laboratories for Nigerian Universities and other tertiary institutions. The National Parks are Nigeria’s eco-treasure and have the potentials of contributing substantially to the National economy when fully developed as obtains in East and Southern Africa.
9. Gentlemen of the Press, as you are very much aware National Security is crucial to Protected Areas. It is also regrettable that most State Owned Forest Reserves today have become dens of criminal activities. Therefore, in a bid to further add impetus to the current fight against insurgency as well as other organized crimes such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry amongst others, the creation of these National Parks will provide the much needed apparatus to ward off criminal elements living or looking for hide outs in those Areas.
10. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is important at this juncture to note that in order to ensure maximum security and benefits of these National Parks enunciated above, Mr. President has also directed that the Federal Ministry of Environment, Agriculture & Natural Resources as well as that of Interior should work together to ensure the attainment of the targets.
11. At this junction, it is necessary that we remind ourselves that Nigeria is witnessing a resurgence of COVID-19 Infection going by the records of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control. This resurgence, the second wave as it is known, is hitting Countries and Territories with varying degrees of impact. The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has been advocating to Nigerians to observe safety provisions in the Protocol for Corona Virus Disease control in the Country.
12. In the wake of the resurgence, the Federal Ministry of Environment has already begun Terminal Environmental Decontamination/Disinfection of Premises where COVID-19 cases have been recorded stemming out of requests from such quarters. We, as a Ministry are determined to continue to support the Federal Government’s coordinated response to the Pandemic. As previously done, the Ministry is poised to once again render qualitative services.
13. You will recall that the Ministry, being one of the Line COVID-19 Response Ministries, proactively mobilized the general public at the inception of the infections earlier this year, towards understanding the nature, mode of spread and control measures. In the whole, maintenance of sterility of Premises, Containments, Dwellings, Offices is the main objective of the Ministry’s Decontamination/Disinfection intervention in order for their users to be safeguarded from letting in the Virus and other microbes into their systems.
14. It is once more necessary to re-echo the need for Nigerian Citizens to adhere strictly to provisions of the COVID-19 control protocol as the main barriers of the virus spread. To this end, Hand hygiene, Respiratory hygiene, Avoidance of crowd, Physical distancing as well as terminal and concurrent decontamination/disinfection must continue to be adopted by all and sundry.
15. It is my firm conviction that decontamination/disinfection as acclaimed by international standards, is contributing immensely to the containment of the spread of Corona virus in Nigeria. I would like to appeal to Nigerians to embrace the safe utilization of Decontamination formulations and administration by engaging only licensed Environmental Health Practitioners for Decontamination/Disinfection Services as an efficient non pharmaceutical Corona control measure.
16. Against this backdrop, the Federal Ministry of Environment is thanking Mr. President for this giant stride which is targeted towards achieving wildlife conservation that is in tandem with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and addressing internal security. We also appreciate the efforts of government in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 in the Country. It is our prayer and hope that this second wave of the Pandemic will be promptly controlled effectively.
We are grateful to the Media for your continuous support and cooperation.
Thank you and God Bless.
Honourable Minister of State Environment, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, Remarks at The Virtual High-Level Launch GCA Africa Partnership Forum
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. All protocols observed.
I am delighted to be part of this launch for Africa’s journey towards climate change resilience.
It is worthwhile to state here that one of the cardinal objectives of this present administration is to tackle the issue of climate change as unveiled by President Buhari in his inauguration speech in 2015. In achieving this objective, Nigeria prepared its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the same year it pledged to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission by 20% unconditionally and a further 45% with international support (conditional).
As you may all know, our NDC was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP 21 in Paris in 2015. This led to the adoption of the Paris Agreement which has been domesticated and ratified by the country. Consequently, we have developed Sectoral Action Plans which include Agriculture, Power, Oil & Gas, Transport and Industry.
We have also made efforts with regards to Adaptation action by developing a National Adaptation framework. We submitted a Readiness Support Proposal to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to advance our National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). This was approved. Towards, generating domestic climate finance we have issued two Green Bonds. Adaptation projects are among those the Bonds fund.
More adaptation-oriented action include the approval of our climate change and gender action plan. We plan to carry out include Vulnerability Mapping & Assessment for Nigeria. The objective of the assessment is to identify vulnerabilities and fashion out appropriate adaptation strategies for them.
Alongside the work of my ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development has been created by Mr. President to address emergencies that arise as a result of climate change impacts. We know there is room for improvement.
Once again, I wish to remind us all to use this platform to catalyze the much needed adaption action, chart and pursue a definite course for securing regional and global financial support for those actions for Africa.
Basically we expect AfDB/GCA can help the continent by providing technological and technical strengthening to countries. Of course alongside facilitating access to “means of implementation”. We are open to partner on improving and expanding our Green Bond instruments, gender and youth inclusion in climate action.
The AfDB/GCA can do the following for the continent;
* Enable countries do ecosystem valuation which gives a fiscal contribution of Adaptation projects and enable buy-in by governments and communities;
* enabling the development and establishment of sustainable carbon markets in the region;
* Provide national and regional platforms to build capacities to bridge the technology and financial gaps, to develop impactful adaptation projects;
* match-make country projects with available funding; among other.
I appreciate this opportunity to give a remark at this occasion.
Thank you. Merci beaucoup. Obrigado.
Address by the Honourable Minister of State, Sharon O. Ikeazor (Esq) on the Occasion of Ecowas Region Consultations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; Strengthening the African Position Ahead of the OEWG-3
I am happy to be with you all at this important West African Regional Consultation on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Colleagues, we are gathered here at a pivotal moment. As you are aware, the continued loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems threatens global development aspirations. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in 2019 indicated that the current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine our progress towards 80% of SDGs targets related to water, cities, health, climate, oceans, land and hunger. We all know, if the SDGs are in jeopardy, for us in Africa it would mean that progress towards the Agenda 2063 will also be undermined. We are all aware that the World’s Ecosystems and Biodiversity are deteriorating at an alarming rate, thereby undermining humanity’s well-being and its future existence. It is sad to note that the Aichi Targets have failed to realize its objectives which were set out in the CBD Framework to slow down the loss of biodiversity.
We cannot afford to stay on this path we are currently on which is the continued and accelerated destruction of nature, this path holds cascading consequences for nature in all ecosystems and on climate, including tipping of transitioning earth from a carbon sink to a carbon emitter. This path also holds grave consequences for humankind as we have seen from the outbreak of COVID-19 which has affected the global economy. OR we can take the ambitious road and work together as a sub-region to choose a different path which is the path of Conservation, Restoration, Transformation and Sustainable use of our biodiversity (For indeed, our solutions are really in nature). If we do not act, we soon may reach tipping points that may cause irreversible destruction to nature and ultimately humankind.
If you may recall, at the 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Sharm el Sheikh in November 2018, decision was taken to have comprehensive and Participatory preparation of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the Open ended inter-sessional working group (OEWG 2020) was established to support the preparation of the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to be implemented between the year 2021 and 2030. Great progress has been made at the two sessions of the OEWG-2020 convened in August 2019 and February 2020 respectively and one more session of the working group will be convened after the 24th meeting of Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTSA) and the 3rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI).
Also, the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) met in January 2020 and elaborated the African position on the Zero draft of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework released in January 2020. This position was to guide CBD Focal Points and negotiators from African Parties at the 2nd meeting of the OEWG-2020. Noting that not all of the African Parties participated in the meeting of the AGN and the OEWG 2, in order to enhance participation in the run up to the 3rd session of the OEWG-2020, the Government of Nigeria in collaboration with the ECOWAS secretariat and other partners decided to convene this virtual regional session to discuss the African position on the CBD Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
I would like to say a big thank you, to the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and Nigerian Conservation Foundation’s (NCF) team for providing support towards this consultation that we are having today, I salute them for their tireless work in safeguarding our biodiversity in the sub-region. I am so proud of the working relationship we have with them.
Our work here today is just the beginning of a greater sub-regional collaboration and cohesion on biodiversity. Merci bien, Cote D’Ivoire for your inputs into the consultation framework. I also commend the Senegalese government for their efforts in mangrove restoration as we hope to replicate same in Nigeria
Finally colleagues, we have an exciting and pivotal two days ahead of us, this is a great opportunity for us to make a difference. Amidst all the critical issues that we are discussing, we must never forget the bounty that mother nature has so freely given to us. So, it is our moral and ethical duty to protect nature. We must connect to nature as our ancestors did and pass on this connection to our children and generations to come. I call on ECOWAS family to come together and take a swift and unified position.
I wish you well in your deliberations, and I encourage you to be bold and decisive in your decisions but never losing sight of our goal. I am committed to standing with you throughout your discussions.
On this note I wish to congratulate my sister, Ms Elizabeth Maruma Mrema on her confirmation as the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Thank you, and I wish you all success towards our common endeavor of safeguarding all life on Earth.
Goodwill Message by the Honorable Minister of State for Environment Sharon Ikeazor Esq at the NYCCEN/NCF Webinar Commemorating the 5th Anniversary Of Laudato Si & World Environment Day 2020
I am honoured to be invited to the 5th Anniversary of the Laudato Si and to be in the presence of His Grace, Most Rev Dr. Adewale Martins, Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam, Fr. Maduabuchi Leo, Prof. Rosemary Egonmwan, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Dame Marie Fatayi-Williams, the Network of Young Catholic Carers for the Environment in Nigeria (NYCCEN) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation for this webinar with the topic : Integral Ecology - The role of Young People and Faith Based Organizations in the Environment Challenge.
I recall Pope Francis at the UN General Assembly in 2015 where he referred to the earth as “our common home, a beautiful mother who opened her arms to embrace everyone” and asking us to be responsible with the way we treat and care for Mother Earth .
Faith–based organisations have an unparalleled reach and mobilizing power because of the sheer number of their devotees in every corner of the Nation – even in remote areas where the fight against environmental degradation might be lost. They have enormous potential to influence National and global policy and tip the scales positively on the substantial worldwide movement we know is needed to address the planet’s environmental challenges.
Young people also are socially conscious active agents of change, responsible idealists and well versed in technology to combat the climate crises we face. Youth activism and engagement can bring about important social and environmental change that could sustain the earth.
As climate change continues to pose serious threats to inclusive and sustainable development across all levels, its adverse impact are much more manifested at the local / community level. Communities whose livelihoods are largely reliant on natural resources are the most vulnerable. We must protect them.
For us as a Government, whatever intervention in combating climate change and preserving/protecting our biodiversity starts at the community level with women and youth being engaged, and the Faith–based organisations have a huge role to play as they have the most reach in these communities than the Government. The 25million Tree planting campaign by Federal Government will involve all groups.
The Federal Ministry of Environment is working, and will continue to work with the youth in our efforts to restore, protect and conserve Mother Nature. Most of our ecological interventions are community based.
Current events like the Covid-19 have made mankind realize the importance of Mother Nature; we must protect our biodiversity, its destruction has brought about this global pandemic, hence, we should heed these warnings and amplify our voices to heal the Earth as we scale up community based adaptation in fighting climate change as well. Let us protect the earth and restore the livelihoods of our people and safeguard their health.
I will like to conclude with my favorite quote by Thomas Paine - “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion”.
Let us all take care of each other and the Earth.
I thank the Nigerian Conservation Foundation under the leadership of Dr. Aminu Kano, for their efforts on conservation. We are in full support and will continue to be in support of the Foundation. I applaud the NYCCEN for organizing this much needed webinar to discuss their roles and I am proud of them as they take responsibility for their environment. Let us build an inter faith based group for the environment. Laudato Si is indeed a great gift to all mankind irrespective of religion and I thank His Grace for his advocacy intervention and call to action on environmental matters for people and planet.
It is an Honor to have been a part of this discuss. Thank you all.
Press Briefing By the Honorable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar on 2020 World Environment Day June 4, 2020
Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press,
I am delighted to welcome you all to this briefing, which is intended to kick-start the activities of the 2020 World Environment Day in Nigeria.
Unfortunately for all nations of the World, this year’s celebration is being held amidst the ravaging effects of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. While we continue to battle with the crisis, as environmentalists, we must continue to contribute our quota in the collective efforts being made to contain the spread of the pandemic.
It is for this reason that the United Nations deem it fit to address biodiversity with the theme ‘‘Time for Nature’’, with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on earth and human development. Over one million plant and animal species risk extinction, largely due to human activities; this is a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of nature.
Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press, the theme is indeed very appropriate, considering the fact that Researchers and Scientist have established COVID-19 to be zoonotic. In order to fully address and prevent future pandemics therefore,
we must Restore, Conserve and Protect biodiversity as key antidotes to COVID-19 recovery.
According to UNEP, 2020 is a year for urgency, ambition and action to address the crisis facing nature; it is also an opportunity to more fully incorporate nature-based solutions into global climate action, especially as commemorating the day has become a powerful platform to accelerate, amplify and engage people, communities and governments around the world to take action on critical environmental challenges facing the planet.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has impacted the traditional activities such as tree-planting and public workshops which were undertaken to celebrate the day in the past and has necessitated new approaches in advocacy and communication.
In this regard, the Ministry is using an alternative online platform for delivering the advocacy for this year’s WED. The online event will be hosted on ‘zoom’ with a series of talks as regards our commitment to Biodiversity Conservation.
Iimplore you all to join the conversation by registering to participate in the Webinar coming up tomorrow Friday, as from 11:00 am.
Biodiversity is the foundation for life and there are myriads of benefits amongst which are: livelihoods and sustainable development, improvement and delivery of food security, growth, increase in job opportunity, strengthening of global healthcare support systems. The Ecosystem is the baseline that holds all of these together. Human interaction with the Ecosystem must therefore remain balanced, otherwise we risk disrupting nature with their consequence as we are seeing with the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Our climate, physical environment and vegetation zones in Nigeria endow our country with a very diverse ecosystem, species of fauna and flora. The forests in Nigeria is currently estimated to extend to around 9.6 million hectares, this we are expanding with added efforts of the Great Green Wall, REDD+ and the Green Bonds supported afforestation Projects amongst several others.
From all this, we must ensure that Post COVID recovery is tied in with our Climate actions and Sustainable Development Goals. We as a Global community have to stay on track with our Climate Targets for us to recover Greener and better for people and planet. Biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future.
Gentlemen of the Press, the Federal Government is fully committed to the Global Biodiversity Framework under the convention on Biological Diversity, and Nigeria is leading the ECOWAS Member-States on Post 2020 Biodiversity Frame work. It is as a result of this commitment that at the 74thUN General Assembly in New York, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR made a commitment to plant 25million trees to mitigate the effects of Climate Change in Nigeria. This process is being driven by the Ministry of Environment and the agencies under the ministry like the National Great Green Wall Agency.
As part of on-going efforts to meet Mr. President’s directives on planting of 25 million trees and as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the 2020 World Environment Day in the country, I will be in Kaduna tomorrow Friday, where I will hand over 1 million seedlings to the Kaduna State Government. It is our ardent prayer and hope that the seedlings would be properly utilized to mitigate the effect of biodiversity, climate change and improve on our natural habitats.
In addition, the Federal Government had also set up a National Forestry Trust Fund under the forestry Department of the Ministry. In the same vein, the Ministry in partnership with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) with the support of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), are working together on coalition on nature, referred to as Nature Means Business which will target the private sector and Sub-nationals to act on agreed environmental principles that will guide their business operation to reduce the impact of business on biodiversity loss. It is worthy to note that our development support partner, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD+) is currently running in 6 states in Nigeria covering all the forest zones. This is a program that conserves already existing forest and enhances carbon stock.
Finally, as a Government, 2020 is indeed a critical year for our commitments to preserve and restore biodiversity. As a nation, Nigeria remains committed to maintaining a healthy environment and safeguarding our ecosystems. The pandemic has shown us that we need to find ways to live in harmony with one another and also with nature. Thank you.
FG INTENSIFIES EFFORTS AT CURTAILING LASSA FEVER OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA
FG INTENSIFIES EFFORTS AT CURTAILING LASSA FEVER OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENT (NCE). THEME: APPRAISAL OF THE EMERGING CHALLENGES AND THE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR: A CALL FOR ACTION TOWARDS THE ENVIRONMENT OF OUR DREAMS.
National Council On Environment (NCE). Theme: Appraisal of the Emerging Challenges and the Opportunities in the Environment Sector: A Call for Action towards the Environment of our Dreams.